Review: CARNAGE: BLACK, WHITE, & BLOOD #1 Spatters All Over!
In the anthology comic Carnage: Black, White, & Blood #1, the bloodiest symbiote of them all gets a chance to shine!
This one’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re interested in a book that includes plenty of gory images, then this may be the comic for you! It’s definitely a comic for the Hannibal Lector crowd (think Mads Mikkelsen‘s Hannibal – with a twist of Hugh Dancy‘s Will Graham – more so than Anthony Hopkins‘ Hannibal, but both work).
Anthologies of Interest
Carnage: Black, White, & Blood is an anthology series, which means that each issue will contain multiple stories by different creative teams, with the common element of Carnage! All three stories are presented in black, white, and red, the limited color palette used in the preceding series Wolverine: Black, White, & Blood and the forthcoming series, Deadpool: Black, White, & Blood.
While most of the books from Marvel Comics featuring familiar superheroes are appropriate for most readers, this is not the case with the Black, White, & Blood books! Like the Marvel MAXX comics before it, these stories are definitely intended for more mature audiences: although the curse words are still censored, the Blood in the title is NOT kidding!
Three Times the Carnage!
Because it’s an anthology series, you get three independent, standalone stories in Carnage: Black, White, & Blood #1. Setting the stage is the grit-and-grim of NEW YORK CITY!, the first arc is “Love Story” by Tini Howard, Ken Lashley, and Juan Fernandez.
This first story has some very cool imagery of the transformation of comic’s starring monster, Cletus Kasady. If I’m being honest, I was reading this from the operating room table, and well, it spoke to me on a “this is the image of my physical pain ripping my body from its bones” kinda level, but not sure what that means for the comic…
However, I enjoyed the appearances by Cloak and Dagger, two of my favorite Marvel heroes (who just don’t get enough attention). Although I’m not as familiar with Carnage’s supporting cast, like Shriek, which made connecting with some parts of the story a little more difficult, it also lead me down a rabbit-hole on Marvel Unlimited for the rest of the evening.
The second story, “End of the Trail” by Benjamin Percy, Sara Pichelli, and Mattia Iacono deserves a shout-out for having my favorite use of blood (an important factor in a book with a subtitle like Black, White, & Blood).
In a dramatic shift from the first story, this comic sets the action in what appears to be the Old West meets Criminal Minds, as the majority of the narrative occurs within the mind of a sheriff trying to puzzle out death, destruction, and carnage.
I’m not sure how or why the symbiote that once paired with Cletus Kasady is in this Old West setting, but the atmosphere more than makes up for any confusion over why a symbiote from the 1980s is in the 19th century. But, you get some answers by the end!
And the third and final story in this issue, “You Are Carnage” by Al Ewing, John McCrea, and Iacono, is something to behold! This is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style story, which isn’t unique at Marvel Comics (check out 2016’s The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7 by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham if you don’t believe us).
But what makes this story interesting is that you roll a six-sided dice to simulate the will of Carnage! This makes perfect sense, since in the usual CYOA, you’re in control… but since you’re sharing the pilot seat with the Carnage symbiote, the dice simulates his malicious intent! A very cool variation on an already cool concept!
All three of these stories were well-lettered by Joe Sabino – and as always, the dialogue bubbles from Carnage are especially neat to see.
Sink Your Teeth into Carnage: Black, White, & Blood # 1
Perhaps the best part of Carnage: Black, White, & Blood #1 is that all three stories feel completely different from one another. Here at Marvel Blog, that’s exactly what we want out of an anthology comic! Kudos to all involved!
Will you be heading to your local comic shop to pick up your copy of Carnage: Black, White, & Blood #1? Are you hoping for the main cover by Pichelli and Iacono, or are you hoping for one of the variants by Peach Momoko, Marco Checchetto, Ryan Ottley, or Patrick Gleason (Web-Head)? Marvel Blog wants to hear from you! Let us know in the comment section.